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Legacy extension system vs WebExtentions is actually a false dichotomy. Mozilla still can develop a low-level API in front of its new and improved subsystems. Yes, that will require more development and will be harder to maintain. But the benefits it would bring may arguably be worth it.

Mozilla is already planning on extension WebExtensions beyond what Chrome does with it (I believe they even implemented some of it already) and are planning on adding even more to enable the functionality of some of the more popular legacy extensions (bookmark trees, tab management, etc).

There is an umbrella issue that aggregates proposed improvements to WebExtensions [1]. If you look at RESOLVED WONTFIX issues linked in that bug, you will find a lot of them are rejected based on political reasons. For example: [2]. So there will never be anything close to feature parity with XUL extensions.

[1] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1215059

[2] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1246706

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